Officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria and security agencies, during a two-day raid on markets in the Ikeja area of Lagos State, nabbed eight suspects for illegally trading in the naira.

Elkana, who identified the suspects as Adijat Adetoro, Ayoola Mahmoud, Madu Eze, Shakirat Olorunfunmi, Julius Akonji, Kadri Olalekan, Abiodun Akinsanya and Yetunde Adeniyi, said over N2m in different denominations used for the illicit trade and other exhibits were recovered from the suspects during the raid.

While stating that it was a punishable offence for any person or group of persons to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in naira notes, coins or any note issued by the CBN, Elkana added that the suspects would be charged to court under sections 20 and 21 of the CBN Act, 2007.

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The Police PRO said, “Acting on credible intelligence, the Lagos State Police Command, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and other sister security agencies, raided markets within Ikeja and environs, where the Nigerian currency was being illegally traded.

“The operation was carried out on Friday, July 12, and Saturday July 13, 2019. Eight suspects, Adijat Adetoro, 37; Ayoola Mahmoud, 42; Madu Eze, 27; Shakirat Olorunfunmi, 38; Julius Akonji, 40; Olalekan Kadri, 23; Abiodun Akinsanya, 34; and Yetunde Adeniyi, 30, were arrested in connection with the crime.

“A cash sum of N2,440,550 mint of different denominations used in the illicit trade and other exhibits were recovered. Investigation is ongoing to ascertain the sources of the currencies. The suspects will be charged to court under sections 20 and 21 of the CBN Act, 2007. It is a punishable offence under the CBN Act for any person or group of persons to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in naira notes, coins or any note issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Upon conviction, the offenders will be liable to imprisonment for not less than six months or a fine not less than N50,000, or both. It is important for members of the public to note that acts of spraying naira notes at occasions, soiling and writing on the currency, squeezing the naira as well as hawking and selling of the country’s currency are abuses of the naira and are punishable by law.”

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